Jess Allen: The silent contributorMon 5 Nov 2018
Winning races comes down to a lot of sacrifice, dedication and teamwork and in 2018 Mitchelton-SCOTT women’s team won no less than 26 UCI races from five different riders. Despite just one name being written at the top of the results sheet, a lot of hard work from teammates can go under the radar and Jess Allen is one of those riders.
With a loud, bubbly, outgoing character, Allen is one of the riders burying herself at the front of the peloton to bring back dangerous moves, starting lead-out trains and heading back to the car for bottles.
In stark contrast to her off the bike personality, Allen’s name often goes unheard of during races yet her work is invaluable. After selflessly riding her way through 2018, contributing to many of the team’s biggest results, Allen is ready for more in 2019 with another season of experience under her belt.
“My role in the team the last two seasons has been a 'worker' and I've loved it. We have some of the best riders in the world in Mitchelton-SCOTT and I want to be the best domestique in the world for them until I'm strong enough to win races myself.
“I know I may fly under the radar to people who just look at the race results but I know how hard I work for the team and I am proud of that. All of my teammates are humble winners and always acknowledge me for my hard work after every race so that's what most important to me.
“Being a worker the last two and a half seasons has made me a stronger rider and I will continue to get stronger because of it. I've learnt a lot about myself this season, how hard I can push myself and learning to use my energy more wisely. I have been a part of 10 WorldTour race wins this season and our first Grand Tour win and although I didn't win a single race, I know I contributed to the wins and they will be some of my biggest career highlights.”
Not only is Allen a hard worker for her teammates in the races with efforts that often go unseen, she also brings another important aspect, her positivity and energetic personality, which helps keep the team moral high.
“It is hard to explain my job in races to people who don't have a full understanding of cycling and the tactics. I think what's great is that we get a lot of pictures and sometimes race highlights that show footage from the race that most people miss. I love to post photos on my social media of me getting drink bottles for the team or riding the front to show people what my role is in the team.
“I’ve always had a bubbly personality and I'm a firm believer that your attitude and personality off the bike is just as important as your performance on the bike. I like to be a positive and energetic person to help lift the team when needed and I think that's really important in a teammate.”
The learning curve
Riding with and often in support of some of the best riders in the world, the 25-year-old is in good company when it comes to learning from others. With this, the young West Australian rider is looking forward to taking on another full season and continue to develop with the Australian outfit through 2019.
“I am really happy to be continuing with Mitchelton-SCOTT again in 2019 as I believe this team is the best place for me to continue to develop into the world class rider I want to be. I will be targeting the spring classics and I want to continue my role as a domestique but I also want to have more of an impact later in the races.
“The culture in the team is really special to me. All the riders and staff have a huge amount of respect for each other. We are serious when we're racing but we can all switch off, relax and have a good time too. I love my job on this team and I know that when I'm happy off the bike, I ride really well on the bike.”
Date of Birth: 17th April 1993 (25)
Place of birth: Perth, WA
Turned Pro: 2016
Mitchelton-SCOTT: 2016 - 2019
Photos courtesy of Getty Images